Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pistachio Macarons

Does this count as obsessed?  I made them again.  I just can't stop thinking about different flavors that can be incorporated in these delicate little bite-sized treats.

This time I used pistachio flour and made pistachio swiss meringue buttercream.

I keep forgetting to show you just how bite-sized they are, but suffice it to say, they're like the size of a nickel.

These are meant to be eaten in one crazy delicious fancy little bite.  They're crackly on the outside and chewy on the inside.  They are not "crunchy moon pies", even though that's sort of exactly what they are...but for the time and effort expended to make them... let's call them macarons.  And let's do it with a really bad ridiculous French accent.  Thanks, love you.

Pistachio Macarons with Pistachio Swiss Meringue


3 egg whites (or 100g)
3 1/2 Tbsp white sugar (45g)
100g pistachio flour
200g powdered sugar
about 6 drops green food coloring

Combine egg whites and white sugar.  Whisk, starting low and gradually increasing speed until very stiff peaks form.  This means that most of the egg whites should stick in the whisk when you turn off the mixer.  

Sift together (twice) the almond flour and powdered sugar.  Fold flour mixture into the egg whites, careful not to over-fold.  Add green food coloring and just barely mix together.  You want these the texture of "lava".  

Spoon batter into a piping bag and pipe nickel-sized circles onto a sil-pat lined baking sheet, spread about 1.5 inches apart.  Once your sheet is full of tiny circles, lift it 4 inches off the counter and drop it onto the counter about 4 times, rotate 180 degrees, and four more times.  You're trying to get the tiny bubbles in the cookies to pop.

Allow your cookies to sit out on the counter about 1 hour, or until they have hardened somewhat into shells.  If you poke one lightly with your finger, no batter should come away.  This is where these cookies get temperamental...depending on geographic location, time of year, temperature, and humidity, this could take longer than an hour.

Once the shells have formed, preheat your oven to 300.  Place in middle rack and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Don't let cookies brown.  Once your cookies have started to develop "feet", or rather, a thin ribbon of solid cookie-stuff is forming where your cookie touches the pan, with a bubbly in-between layer between the "foot ribbon" and the shell top, you're there.

Allow the cookies to cool for about 15-20 minutes on the pan before trying to remove them to a wire cooling rack.  Do so very carefully.  The underside of your cookies should be soft and indentable, but not gooey.

Pistachio Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

3 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp pistachio flour
1 stick of butter, cubed
1 cup powdered sugar
4 drops green food coloring 

Place egg whites and sugar in a double boiler.  Whisk often while warming over a double boiler until 150 degree temperature is reached, or if until the sugar has dissolved.  If you stick your finger in and rub it between your index finger and thumb, it shouldn't feel grainy anymore.

Whisk in bowl of a stand mixer until very stiff peaks form again, or until it's all stuck in the whisk.  Add in pistachio flour, butter, powdered sugar, and green food coloring and mix together. 

Spoon into a piping bag and pipe a spiral onto the bottom of one cookie, topping with another.  Allow to set.  These taste best the second day.

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